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How to resolve “Could not write you may be over quota: Bad file descriptor” Error

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The error can occur when working with a WordPress website. When checking the error log, we can see the error message as “Error: Bad file descriptor – You may be over quota”. However, the website will display a 500 internal server error. We need to have some basic information about WordPress and errors related to WordPress websites.


About WordPress

WordPress is a CMS (content management system) based on PHP and MySQL, which is free and open-source. It is installed on a webserver using a hosting service or a network host. WordPress is a simple yet sometimes difficult CMS to manage. To host a WordPress website, you need a hosting provider that offers cPanel to control your website.


What to do when encountering a 500 internal server error

The common recommendation for a 500 internal server error is to contact your hosting provider and deactivate plugins. People have contacted their hosting providers and deactivating plugins is the common suggestion when facing a 500 internal server error. However, it could also be due to insufficient memory for your website. You can edit the wp-config.php file to increase the memory limit. The error may occur because your hosting space is not enough to handle your website.


Possible Solutions

1) Increase memory limit
2) Deactivate plugins
3) Change hosting provider
4) Upgrade hosting plan


Let’s explore the detailed solution

1) Increase Memory Limit

Some plugins require more space, which can exhaust WordPress memory. To resolve this issue, you can increase the memory limit by adding the following code to the wp-config.php file. Open the “wp-config.php” file with your preferred editor (e.g., vi).

# vi wp-config.php

Add the following code to the file. If it already exists, edit the code and replace the value according to your needs.

# define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’);

You can replace 256M with a higher value like 1024 or more, depending on your requirement.

After adding or modifying the code, don’t forget to save the file for the changes to take effect.


2) Deactivate All Plugins

There is a possibility of conflicts between plugins. In such cases, you can deactivate all WordPress plugins. This method is applicable if you can log in to your WordPress admin dashboard.

If you can log in to your WordPress admin dashboard, follow these steps:

1) Login to your WordPress admin dashboard.
2) Click on “Plugins”.
3) Select “Installed Plugins”.
4) Deactivate each plugin one by one.

If the error remains the same, it indicates that the issue is not related to any of the installed plugins on your website.


3) Check Disk Space Usage

The error “Error: Bad file descriptor – You may be over quota” could be related to your disk space. If the disk utilization is full, you will encounter this error. If your website requires a large amount of space, you may need to purchase a larger hosting plan. Otherwise, as your website size increases, you will encounter the above error. You can use cPanel to determine the space used by any folder or file.

You can use the following commands for disk-related queries:

Disk Usage of files and directories:

# du -h

Check file system disk space usage:

# df -h

Display information of /home file system:

# df -hT /home

Make sure that when you download the backup to your local machine, it is not necessary to keep the backup file on the live server. When you take a backup of your website, the backup file inside the root directory or any folder may consume a large amount of disk space and throw the error “Error: Bad file descriptor – You may be over quota”.


4) Upgrade Web Hosting Plan

If your website requires more space every day, you can upgrade your hosting plan.

Always be cautious when choosing managed hosting plans.

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